After a weekend of eating out twice at dinner time (we ordered pizza with some friends one night and then had a decadent dinner at downtown Ottawa’s Beckta), we were feeling a little in need of a healthy, lighter dinner. Everything in moderation, right? If we were totally clean eaters I suppose I should have left out the feta cheese – but this bite of saltiness just works so well against the honey glazed sweet potatoes and adds a creamy texture to the dish! You could sub in sautéed olives instead (but my husband hates olives…sad for me!). The fresh cranberries play a key role too, as their tart tanginess counteracts the sweet and salty of the sweet potatoes and feta. The green beans need to be just blanched so that they retain their crisp bite, adding a crunchy texture to the salad. You can serve this salad at room temperature (just crumble the feta last minute!) or when all the ingredients are warm. Either way, it’s delicious! Even piepie (our 3 1/2 year old) ate it up!
Note: I didn’t make a dressing for this salad – but if you find you need one, try lemon juice and olive oil, or balsamic vinegar and olive oil (about 3:1 ratio of vinegar:oil) to give it more zip and moisture. Also – if you’re looking for more protein and nutrients, try topping this salad with salmon. We had left some over pan seared salmon that went really well with it!
what you need:
- a bunch of green beans (about two large handfuls)
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta
- 1 can (540mL) chick peas
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp raw honey
- salt & pepper
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/2 – 2 tbsp cooking oil (I used grapeseed oil)
what to do:
- Prep everything – wash and clean green beans (take off the rough tips). Wash sweet potato thoroughly and peel if desired (I left the skins on). Rinse the cranberries. Cut the lemon in half. Chop up garlic roughly. Drain and rinse chick peas. Preheat oven to 425 F (400 F if you have convection). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the sweet potato into cubes (bite size) and toss on the baking sheet with the fresh cranberries, and 1 tsp- 2 tsp cooking oil – season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the cookie sheet into your oven, for about 15-20 minutes, until sweet potato is tender and cranberries pop.
- Blanche the green beans quickly. To blanche – bring a pot of water to a boil, add the green beans, wait about 1 minute, then immediately remove them from the water and cool down by shocking them in cold water to stop the cooking process. This will maintain it’s crispness.
- Check on your sweet potatoes – at this point, glaze with honey (if your honey is too thick, heat it up slightly so that it drizzles onto the sweet potatoes and cranberries). Use a wooden spoon to gently stir everything and return to oven for remaining time to bake.
- In a large pan on medium-high heat, heat up cooking oil and garlic, then add chick peas and green beans, stirring occasionally until coated with the garlic oil (this won’t take very long, just a few minutes) – season with salt and pepper as desired and remove from heat. Transfer onto serving dish, squeeze lemon all over.
- Remove sweet potatoes and cranberries from the oven and layer them onto your green beans and chick peas. Crumble feta on top and enjoy immediately, or serve later at room temperature!